Friday 7 September 1666

Up by five o’clock; and, blessed be God! find all well, and by water to Paul’s Wharfe. Walked thence, and saw, all the towne burned, and a miserable sight of Paul’s church; with all the roofs fallen, and the body of the quire fallen into St. Fayth’s; Paul’s school also, Ludgate, and Fleet-street, my father’s house, and the church, and a good part of the Temple the like. So to Creed’s lodging, near the New Exchange, and there find him laid down upon a bed; the house all unfurnished, there being fears of the fire’s coming to them. There borrowed a shirt of him, and washed. To Sir W. Coventry, at St. James’s, who lay without curtains, having removed all his goods; as the King at White Hall, and every body had done, and was doing. He hopes we shall have no publique distractions upon this fire, which is what every body fears, because of the talke of the French having a hand in it. And it is a proper time for discontents; but all men’s minds are full of care to protect themselves, and save their goods: the militia is in armes every where. Our fleetes, he tells me, have been in sight one of another, and most unhappily by fowle weather were parted, to our great losse, as in reason they do conclude; the Dutch being come out only to make a shew, and please their people; but in very bad condition as to stores; victuals, and men. They are at Bullen; and our fleete come to St. Ellen’s. We have got nothing, but have lost one ship, but he knows not what. Thence to the Swan, and there drank: and so home, and find all well. My Lord Bruncker, at Sir W. Batten’s, and tells us the Generall is sent for up, to come to advise with the King about business at this juncture, and to keep all quiet; which is great honour to him, but I am sure is but a piece of dissimulation. So home, and did give orders for my house to be made clean; and then down to Woolwich, and there find all well: Dined, and Mrs. Markham come to see my wife. So I up again, and calling at Deptford for some things of W. Hewer’s, he being with me, and then home and spent the evening with Sir R. Ford, Mr. Knightly, and Sir W. Pen at Sir W. Batten’s: This day our Merchants first met at Gresham College, which, by proclamation, is to be their Exchange. Strange to hear what is bid for houses all up and down here; a friend of Sir W. Rider’s: having 150l. for what he used to let for 40l. per annum. Much dispute where the Custome-house shall be thereby the growth of the City again to be foreseen. My Lord Treasurer, they say, and others; would have it at the other end of the towne. I home late to Sir W. Pen’s, who did give me a bed; but without curtains or hangings, all being down. So here I went the first time into a naked bed, only my drawers on; and did sleep pretty well: but still hath sleeping and waking had a fear of fire in my heart, that I took little rest. People do all the world over cry out of the simplicity of my Lord Mayor in generall; and more particularly in this business of the fire, laying it all upon’ him. A proclamation1 is come out for markets to be kept at Leadenhall and Mileendgreene, and several other places about the towne; and Tower-hill, and all churches to be set open to receive poor people.

  1. On September 5th proclamation was made “ordering that for supply of the distressed people left destitute by the late dreadful and dismal fire… . great proportions of bread be brought daily, not only to the former markets, but to those lately ordained; that all churches, chapels, schools, and public buildings are to be open to receive the goods of those who know not how to dispose of them.” On September 6th, proclamation ordered “that as the markets are burned down, markets be held in Bishopsgate Street, Tower Hill, Smithfield, and Leadenhall Street” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-67, pp. 100, 104).

17 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

John Evelyn's Diary

7 September
http://www.pepysdiary.com/indepth/2009/09/02/ev...

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"This day our Merchants first met at Gresham College, which, by proclamation, is to be their Exchange."

"[T]he Great Fire of London in September 1666, while leaving the College intact, led to a shortage of accommodation for the city's merchants, and Gresham College was [also] used as a temporary Exchange from 1666 to 1673." http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=1060&tip=1 This sharing of quarters will persist until the year's turn when the Royal Society finds other quarters.

CGS   Link to this

Boxers??"..., only my drawers on;..."

Phoenix   Link to this

My Lord Bruncker, at Sir W. Batten’s, and tells us the Generall is sent for up, to come to advise with the King about business at this juncture, and to keep all quiet; which is great honour to him, but I am sure is but a piece of dissimulation.

Calendar of State Papers: "The King, with the unanimous concurrence of the council, wishes the Lord General were here, and Sec. Morice is sounding him to know whether he would be willing to be ordered home."

Robert Gertz   Link to this

"A proclamation1 is come out for markets to be kept at Leadenhall and Mileendgreene, and several other places about the towne; and Tower-hill, and all churches to be set open to receive poor people."

Sounds like Charlie and co are doing what they can...

Stacia   Link to this

I hesitate to sound ungrateful for Sam's recent entries, but I so wish we could know more about what Bess is doing. She is in Woolwich still, but you'd think she would travel back to oversee the house being made clean per Sam's orders. Unless her only job is to guard the gold; has she been stuck in that room "night and day" since the 5th?

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"This day our Merchants first met at Gresham College, which, by proclamation, is to be their Exchange."

By the King, a proclamation for the keeping of markets to supply the city of London with provisions, and also for prevention of alarms and tumults, and for appointing the meeting of merchants. ... Given at Our court at Whitehall the sixth day of September 1666. in the eighteenth year of Our reign.
London : printed by John Bill, and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent Majesty, 1666.
1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 1⁰.
Variant title:Proclamation for the keeping of markets to supply the city of London with provisions
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3491; Steele, I, 3473

Michael Robinson   Link to this

"A proclamation1 is come out ... and all churches to be set open to receive poor people."

Charles R. His Maiesty in his princely compassion and very tender care, taking into consideration the distressed condition of many his good subiects, whom the late dreadful and dismal fire hath made destitute ... Given at our court at Whitehall, this fifth day of September, in the eighteenth year of our reign, one thousand six hundred sixty six.
London : printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, printers to the Kings most excellent maiesty, [1666]

1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 1/2⁰.
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), C3088; Steele, I, 3470

jeannine   Link to this

"My Lord Bruncker, at Sir W. Batten’s, and tells us the Generall is sent for up, to come to advise with the King about business at this juncture, and to keep all quiet; which is great honour to him, but I am sure is but a piece of dissimulation"

During the plague the Duke of Albemarle was the 'go to' person who stayed in the city and kept things calm. Charles at least knows who has the leadership skills and respect of the people to manage a crisis.

JWB   Link to this

It is debated whether the fire ended plague, those contra noting declines elsewhere; but, it can be said that a resevoir has been cleaned and all things considered Londoners better off. Leibnitz 20 this year: "God always chooses the best".

Mary   Link to this

The disappearance of the plague.

The metropolitan Bills of Mortality maintained a special column for plague deaths until the year 1703. However, in 1667 only 35 persons were listed as having died of plague, followed by 14 in 1668 and just 2 in 1669.

During the next decade only occasional outbreaks and rare plague deaths occurred in southern England, and the last plague death listed in the metropolitan bills was recorded in a remote downstream parish in 1679.

Ruben   Link to this

The disappearance of the plague.

You only have to look at the list of diagnosis in the Bills of Mortality to understand that most people died with no diagnosis, at least by our standards.
Diagnosis of the Plague was not based in the identification of the Yersinia Pestis bacterium, but on symptoms seen by a physician or by the general public (there were not many doctors around). So it is possible that some died of other kind of infection, like a purulent septicemia, lymphoma or who knows what. An isolated case of plague is possible but without identification of the bacterium makes the diagnosis dubious.
I think that after the last big plague, most "plague deaths" were something else.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

I wrote a paper on the problems in identifying plague deaths from the Roman/Byzantine/medieval Western Europe eras a while back. When you add the distortions of monks and others copying copies of copies, and the oft-times even worse distortions of nineteenth-century historians (including medical ones) trying to catagorize everything neatly, the amazing thing is how concise and clear the descriptions can be. Of course there's huge room for errors which can mislead the modern researcher as well as the ancient archivist, but if the description is sufficiently detailed and the sources can be well-identified, we shouldn't go too far the other way and underrate the observation skills of our ancestors.

Cactus Wren   Link to this

I'd like to see that paper, Robert, is it available online? Or if it was in a journal, might I be able to find it perhaps through inter-library loan?

Robert Gertz   Link to this

No, it was a term paper for an applied epi class when I was in grad school and never published. But I'll gladly dig it out and send it if you'd like to see it.

Harvey   Link to this

"... what Bess is doing. She is in Woolwich still, but you’d think she would travel back to oversee the house being made clean per Sam’s orders. Unless her only job is to guard the gold; has she been stuck in that room “night and day” since the 5th?..."

Probably, with the family fortune in gold, probably not far off $1m today in buying power, it needs someone who really cares sitting on that chest 24/7.
The house cleaning can wait.

Cactus Wren   Link to this

Robert -- I don't want to inconvenience you, but if it happens to fall to hand.

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